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New Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly addresses media after he made his first selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, T Lane Johnson....
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This is the one date all NFL fans circle on their calendar like its Christmas morning! And that is the day the upcoming NFL Schedule is announced as fans can start checking out their team’s big matchups, get arrangements in order and start making road trip plans with their buddies. The best is that as soon as the schedule is announced everyone going down the schedule and overhyping their team’s record for the upcoming season five months away before squads even have their roster intact which is pointless but still entertaining and fun!
So here you have it the Eagles 2013 NFL Schedule is here! Here is a quick look at the matchups…
Week 1: Mon. Sept 9th @ Redskins 7:10pm: What a way for the Eagles to kickoff the 2013 season, in primetime on the road against their NFC East Rivals the Washington Redskins! A lot of storylines heading into this game, Chip Kelly’s first game as Eagles head coach and the debut of his fast pace offense, Robert Griffin III’s health only nine months removed from serious knee surgery, can the Eagles’ revamped defense contain RGIII after he embarrassed them last season… So it really isn’t surprising that this game is on Monday Night Football. This is the 1st time since 2005 the Eagles kickoff the season on Monday night when they traveled to Atlanta to take on the Falcons.
Week 2: Sun Sept 15th vs. Chargers 1pm: The Eagles home opener will come against San Diego which fired Norv Turner in the offseason and turned to former Broncos Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy as lead the ship for the Chargers as they hope to rejuvenate QB Phillip Rivers career and turn him into Peyton Manning in McCoy’s effective offensive scheme. (This isn’t likely in my opinion.) The last time the Eagles/Chargers met was 2009 in San Diego where threw for 2 scores in a 31-23 victory.
Week 3: Thurs Sept 19 vs. Chiefs 8:25pm: A short week for the Birds as they play their third game in 11 days to start the season but luckily for them it’s back to back home games. But more importantly it’s the return of the winningest coach in the franchise history, Andy Reid. For the first time Reid will be at Lincoln Financial Field this time on the visitors sideline. It will be interesting to see the Philly Faithfull’s reaction when he walks out of the tunnel and it’s fitting that this game is on national television for the entire nation to see… hey maybe Reid’s coaching tendencies will benefit the Eagles and help them get a victory.
Week 4: Sun Sept 29th @ Broncos 4:25pm: The Eagles travel to Mile High for the first of a three game road trip against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. This is a team that was one blown coverage away from going to the Super Bowl and they added more fire power on offense for Manning to use at his disposal by getting slot guru, Wes Welker. The Eagles D will have their hands full against the 4-time NFL MVP and haven’t had a lot of success against Peyton as he has a career 3-1 record against the Birds with a 8-3 TD/Int ratio and a QB rating of 103.7.
Week 5: Sun Oct 6th @Giants 1pm: In 2012 the Eagles split the season series but this was the location of Andy Reid’s final game as Eagles head coach when the Birds got manhandled 42-7. But this is the start of a new regime and rivalry as Chip Kelly and Tom Coughlin meet for the first time. No matter what the record is between these two squads, it’s almost always a grudge match especially this early in the season as both teams will be hungry for a victory.
Week 6: Sun Oct 13th @Buccaneers 1pm: Tampa Bay is one of those teams that people really think could be on the rise with 2nd year HC Greg Schiano. Last offseason they addressed the offensive side by getting some weapons for QB Josh Freeman by acquiring WR Vincent Jackson. Then in 2012 they looked to fix their dreaded secondary by getting one of the top marquee safeties on the market, Dashon Goldson. With Goldson, former 1st round draft pick Mark Barron, and CB Eric Wright in the backfield it’s going to be difficult for opposing offenses to find success through the air. Eagles are 4-3 all time on the road vs. Tampa Bay including a Nick Foles’ 4th quarter comeback last season.
Week 7: Sun Oct 20th vs. Cowboys 1pm: The Cowboys swept the Eagles in 2012 but return home after three long weeks on the road. The Cowboys believe that QB Tony Romo is the man for the job after giving him a hefty contract extension in the offseason. This will be the Eagles first crack at the evil empire as they won’t see Dallas until the season finale hopefully for a playoff spot.
Week 8: Sun Oct 27th vs. Giants 1pm: This will be a pivotal game for both teams especially the Eagles. This will be their 4th division game only eight weeks into the season. So not much ground to be made later in the season if the Eagles fall behind early. These divisional games are just meaning that much more.
Week 9: Sun Nov 3rd @Raiders 4:05pm: I know this is the Raiders but you can never count a game out where the Eagles have to go out to the west coast… They have had issues in the past out West especially against inferior competition so don’t put this up as a W just yet. New coach, new quarterback….
Week 10: Sun Nov 10th @Packers 1pm: This is one game I can’t wait for and wish it was earlier in the season but will be an awesome game. Arguably the best QB in the game right now, Aaron Rodgers going up against Chip Kelly’s offense… If you like high scoring games and no defense, this is the game to watch. Right now I like the Eagles defense a little bit more but Rodgers knows how to light it up.
Week 11: Sun Nov 17th vs. Redskins 1pm: This will be the last divisional game for the Eagles for six weeks before the season finale against the Cowboys. And it will be 10 weeks since these two teams met for the first time. By this affair, both teams will be a bit more familiar with each other and their tendencies.
Week 12: Sun Nov 24th BYE- This is the latest bye week since 2000 when the Birds had a Week 16 bye week.
Week 13: Sun Dec 1st vs. Cardinals 1pm: No more Andy Reid and no more Kevin Kolb shouting out the Eagles offensive calls at the line to give them advantage. Maybe the Eagles can finally get a victory over the Cardinals…
Week 14: Sun Dec 8th vs. Lions 1pm: Eagles fans hope for a blizzard during this game for the hope to slow down Stafford and Megatron passing attack through the air because as the Lions have shown in the past, they can’t commit nor win when they run the football… Hopefully in Chip Kelly’s offense, the Eagles can.
Week 15: Sun Dec 15th @Vikings 1pm: Adrian Peterson vs. Lesean McCoy… Two of the top versatile backs in the NFL today… We could see a combine 400 yards from scrimmage between these two to set up an exciting matchup…
Week 16: Sun Dec 22nd vs. Bears 1pm: For the sixth time in seven seasons the Eagles and the Bears will square off once again… and when these two meet it’s always a dog fight and comes down to the final play… But will be weird not to see the face of the Bears for over a decade, Brian Urlacher not on the football field for Chicago. But still have a lot of fire power on offense with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and Matt Forte in the backfield. But again it all comes down to the QB Jay Cutler and his decision making. Maybe the Eagles can play spoiler as I see the Bears in possible playoff contention unlike the Eagles unfortunately.
Week 17: Sun Dec 29th @Cowboys 1pm: And for the fourth time in six seasons, the Eagles will finish their season against the Dallas Cowboys. With the NFL wanting to stick divisional matchups at the end of the season for possible playoff implications, I don’t see this game meaning more than bragging rights as the Eagles try to spoil the Cowboys holidays.
Conclusion: It’s just weird how this scheduled shapes up. They start the season on short rest playing three games in 11 days. They go on a 3 game road trip which it seems they do almost every single year, and the Eagles have a chance to build a lead early in the division with four games in the first eight weeks. The NFL normally likes to put most of the divisional games towards the end so a little surprising the Eagles only have two in the final six weeks. Also it’s surprising no Sunday Night Football games and only two primetime games, both within the first three weeks. Thought people want to see Chip’s offense… I guess the NFL doesn’t.
Also the bye week could be a bad thing or a good thing. We know how the NFL has shaped up to whoever is hot at the end is the one that goes on the run to win it all. If the Eagles are on a roll it could derail their momentum but on the other hand it could give them much needed rest and get healthy late in the season to make a push so I see either way.
I know the normal thing is to give your season predictions which are pointless right now but hey ill do it… This is how I see it: Divisional opponents are always difficult, rough start to season with short rest, three game road trip and some other long traveling like to Oakland, they face a tough division in the NFC North and you factor in a whole new coaching staff with new schemes and many question marks at key positions including quarterback. I see this being a mulligan year for the Eagles as Chip Kelly looks to get his feet wet but don’t get me wrong I hope for a successful season and hope they prove me wrong but I see 6-10, 8-8 tops. I wasn’t too thrilled with this schedule coming in but we can predict all we want but they have to play the games on the field so anything can happen. This just means we are one step closer to some football again on Sundays!
Other scheduling nuggets (Courtesy Eagles Media Relations):
(Photo Courtesy: Associated Press)
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The 2013 NFL Draft is just over two weeks away and teams are setting up their draft boards to try and get the best talent possible in their eyes to improve their squads but that isn’t the only route.
The Eagles decided to hit up their pal Joe Banner in Cleveland and worked out a deal to send backup running back Dion Lewis to the Browns in exchange for LB Emmanuel Acho on Thursday.
The 6’2 238lbs Acho is only 22 years old and was drafted by the Browns last season in the 6th round of the Draft but due to a serious leg injury he missed his entire rookie season after being placed on injured reserve in 2012. In four seasons at Texas, he recorded 280 tackles eight sacks, seven forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions earning him All-Big 12 first-team honors in 2011. He is a guy the Eagles will look at to provide depth inside in their new 3-4 look and make his money by contributing on special teams.
After the trade, Philadelphia is down to Lesean McCoy, Bryce Brown, and Chris Polk on their running back depth chart and with that amount of depth on the roster it was probably slim that Lewis would of made the final 53 man roster. But he also has a uphill battle ahead for him in a crowded backfield in Cleveland where he will be competing with Montario Hardesty and Chris Ogbonnaya for playing time behind starter Trent Richardson.